Maternal Diet May Affect Stress Responses in Children

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Meat Can Cause Stress Hormone Levels to Rise and Testosterone Levels to Drop

A critique of the scientific validity of the dietary advice in Men’s Health magazine discovered nuggets claiming meat can give men “a testosterone boost,” but we’ve known for a quarter century that a meal with that much fat can drop testosterone levels by nearly one-third within hours. In fact, a significant drop of both free and bound testosterone in the bloodstream occurs within just one hour of it going in one’s mouth, whereas a low-fat meal of mostly carbs has no such effect. Based on in vitro studies on the effects of fat on testicle cells in a petri dish, researchers suspect fat in the blood may actually suppress testosterone production in real time. If you feed people lots of eggs and meat, including fish and poultry, and then switch them to a diet with bread, fruit, vegetables, and sugar—but about the same amount of fat—all their testosterone levels go up. Even more importantly, however, all their levels of cortisol, a stress hormone produced by our adrenal glands, go down.

Having low stress hormone levels is good, because high cortisol levels may “strongly predict cardiovascular death” in men and women both with and without pre-existing cardiovascular disease. In fact, this may help explain “death from a broken heart,” the heightened heart attack and stroke risk in the immediate weeks following the loss of a spouse. Higher cortisol levels days, months, or even years after losing someone you love may increase cardiac risk and reduce immune function. And, the rise in stress hormone levels from the loss of a spouse, a bump of about 50 points, is less than the bump you get by eating high-meat diet.

Cortisol may also help explain why those who are depressed tend to put on abdominal fat. The reason obesity around the middle is associated with elevated cortisol secretion may be that abdominal fat kind of sucks it up, so the accumulation of fat around our internal organs may be an adaptation by which our body deals with excess stress.

These spikes in stress hormone levels every time we eat a lot of meat may not just affect our health, but that of our children, which I discuss in my video Maternal Diet May Affect Stress Responses in Children. “Substantial evidence now suggests that maternal diets of high protein density have adverse effects on the fetus.” For example, back in the 1960s, an experiment was performed on pregnant women in Motherwell, Scotland, in which they were told to eat a high-meat diet in hopes of preventing preeclampsia, a disease of pregnancy. It didn’t work. In fact, the lowest preeclampsia rates I’ve ever seen were among women eating strictly plant-based diets—only 1 case out of 775 pregnancies. Preeclampsia normally strikes about 5 percent of pregnancies, so there should have been dozens of cases, suggesting a plant-based diet could alleviate most, if not all, of the signs and symptoms of this potentially serious condition. So what did happen when pregnant women went from eating about one daily portion of meat to about two portions a day? Mothers who ate more meat and fewer vegetables during pregnancy gave birth to children who grew up to have higher blood pressures.

“One explanation proposed for the adverse effects of high-meat/fish consumption is that this may increase maternal cortisol concentrations, which, in turn, affect the developing fetus,” resetting his or her stress hormone thermostat to a higher level. But, we don’t know until we put it to the test. And indeed, researchers found higher blood cortisol levels “in both the sons and daughters of women who had reported higher meat/fish” consumption, about a 5 percent increase for every meat serving per day. Such diets may present a metabolic stress to the mother and kind of reprogram the adrenal axis of their children, leading to lifelong hypercortisolemia, elevated levels of stress hormones in the blood. This may help explain why every daily portion of meat during late pregnancy may lead to a 1 percent greater fat mass in their children by the time they reach adolescence. So, this could increase the risk of their children becoming obese later in life and thus has “important implications for public health and in terms of prevention of obesity.”

What if they’re already born? We may be able to bring down children’s stress hormone levels with similar dietary changes, but this is just baseline stress hormone levels. Do children of mothers who eat more meat during pregnancy also have exaggerated responses to life stressors? Researchers put them through a stressful challenge—public speaking and mental arithmetic—and then measured their cortisol responses. If their mom ate less than two servings of meat/fish a day while she was carrying them, they got little shots of stress hormones from their adrenal glands. Those whose moms ate more really got stressed out, and those whose moms ate the most—17 or more servings a week, which is more than 2 servings each day—appeared to be really quaking in their boots. In a way, you are what your mother ate.

Want more craziness from Men’s Health magazine? Check out my video Changing a Man’s Diet After a Prostate Cancer Diagnosis.

Here are some other popular videos about eating healthfully during pregnancy:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

71 responses to “Meat Can Cause Stress Hormone Levels to Rise and Testosterone Levels to Drop

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  1. Ye gods, where does Dr. G. find these photos? Is that a pic of male with a beer belly, or a pregnant female with sinister-looking markings on her “oven”?

    1. YR,

      I think those “sinister-looking markings” are a sketch of an ultrasound of the infant within the “oven.”

      Though at first I thought that they were supposed to be flashes of stress hormones.

  2. I hope someday you create a nutrition course and maybe even a certification course. What you share is more informative and true than many nutritionist I’ve met. Bless you and thank you for all the work you’re putting in!

    1. Nate,

      Dr. Greger’s book “How Not to Die” is great, and well worth purchasing and reading. Any profits go straight back into the non-profit

      The first section is arranged into different chapters of How Not to Die of various diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, etc. The second section contains chapters on different food groups, and their benefits. There are a LOT of references (cited in the book) at the end (maybe a hundred pages?). It’s a complete nutrition course on it’s own, far better than other college nutrition textbooks I’ve purchased over the years. And it summarizes most of the information contained within the videos and blogs posted here, in a very easily understood and accessible style. I highly recommend it. I read the second section first, then the first section selectively (according to the different diseases and conditions I wanted to know more about).

  3. Nate, Dr J. — I first borrowed the book from the local public library. It was so good that I went and bought my own copy then back again for another copy for a gift. It is that good! The recipe book fits my lifestyle too, nothing complicated and so easy. Be well!

  4. That explanation for dying of a broken heart is less romantic than just having no explanation, but it makes sense.

    I think about the fact that in my family when it was the males who died, the women lived. But when the wives, who were the cooks died, the males died.

    Maybe that gives an indication of what they ate when meals were in their hands?

    “And, the rise in stress hormone levels from the loss of a spouse, a bump of about 50 points, is less than the bump you get by eating a high-meat diet.” That tells me that the support system who are bringing meals to people who are going through high-stress situations like loss of a spouse can potentially harm them. Probably more harm than if the people just didn’t eat that much out of sadness.

    1. I think I thought they basically starved to death.

      People who are ill often do intentionally starve to death is where my theory came from.

      That is partly why the churches are so big on bringing food.

      The concept that they may have cortisoled to death is interesting.

      1. It might be better to let them grieve and barely eat. Maybe bring them ProLon and have them do Mimicking fasting and come away with a better immune system?

  5. My T level was 214 back in 2014. After starting a low carb diet and losing more than 45 pounds, I had my T level re-checked in 2017. It increased to 384. Eating more meat did not lower my T level. It increased it.

    *meat protein contributes more to Total Testosterone than a vegetarian diet – 1985 study found when it looked at a large cross-section of omnivores and vegetarians … The meat-eaters actually had 36 percent more T than the guys who stuck to rabbit food. A 1989 study found pretty much the same thing: The meat-eaters had 31 percent more testosterone than the vegitarians. (Schuler, p.86).

    A Dutch study published in 1992 looked at changes in T levels on these two diets. A group of young male endurance athletes ate and trained on each diet for 6 weeks. (Half started on the meat-rich diet, half on the vegetarian diet; then they switched.) Total testosterone declined 35 percent when the athletes used the vegetarian diet (Schuler, p.76).

    Men’s Health magazine declared, “Perhaps the ideal diet to drop your testosterone is high fiber and vegetarian-and the ideal way to raise it is the red-meat approach” (Jim Thorton, p.154). ” Maximum Testosterone.” Men’s Health. April, 2005, pp. 146-155,182

    Serum sex hormones and endurance performance after a lacto-ovo vegetarian and a mixed diet.
    Raben A, Kiens B, Richter EA, Rasmussen LB, Svenstrup B, Micic S, Bennett P. SourceAugust Krogh Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

    The V diet resulted in a lower total T level (13.7, 9.8-32.4 nmol.l-1) (median and range) compared with the M diet (17.4, 11.8-33.5 nmol.l-1). During exercise after 6 wk on the diets total T was also significantly lower on the V than on the M diet
    What about sperm quality?


    Vegetarians and vegans had significantly lower sperm counts compared with meat eaters, 50 million sperm per ml compared with 70 million per ml.

    They also had lower average sperm motility – the number of sperm which are active. Only one third of sperm were active for vegetarians and vegans compared with nearly 60 per cent for meat eaters.

    “We found that diet does significantly affect sperm quality. Vegetarian and vegan diets were associated with much lower sperm counts than omnivorous diets,” said Dr Eliza Orzylowska an obstetrician at Loma Linda University Medical Centre in California.

      1. Anyway, your personal story is probably more to do with the fact that you lost weight. Obesity lowers testosterone levels, so losing weight would be expected to have your levels go up and that has nothing to do with the meat.

        Hard to believe that you hadn’t lost weight on a Whole Food Plant Based diet? My guess is that you weren’t doing the diet that these doctors are promoting before you went low carb.

        Which diet were you doing before you went low carb? Ornish? Esselstyn? Fuhrman? McDougall? Were you doing the daily dozen?

          1. Omega 3’s is what can change sperm quality and the preliminary study about that was a preliminary study.

            The males might not be taking their Omega 3 supplements or the men were still eating something with high saturated fats.

            “And a study of men attending a fertility clinic, published in May by the journal Human Reproduction, found that high intake of omega-3 fats was linked to more normal sperm size and shape, while high intake of saturated fats was related to lower sperm concentration.”

            1. Omega 3’s in seafood are great. Now, a new study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism has found that it also gives your sex life a major boost, and might even help you get pregnant.


              People Who Eat Fish Seem to Age Better: Results from a study of more than 2,600 older Americans suggest that diets rich in fish and shellfish containing omega-3 fats can help people stay healthy as they age (The BMJ, Oct. 17, 2018). The study started in 1992 and lasted until 2015. Blood levels of omega-3 fats were measured at the beginning of the study, after six years and at 13 years

        1. My wife and I tried the McDougall diet (even bought his starch book) but didn’t like the way it made us feel. I felt tired and weak on this diet after three days. We stayed on the diet for six weeks before switching to a low carb diet in April 2014. My wife is now off her blood pressure meds and we have both maintained a 30 plus pound weight loss. We don’t take supplements and didn’t want to have to depend on B-12 pills.


          1. Greg,

            I respect that you made a choice, which you can live with.

            When it comes to the issue, Whole Food Plant Based people need to get enough Omega 3’s and some people don’t eat enough flaxseeds and walnuts and if they don’t supplement Omega 3’s, they could genuinely have the problem.

            I have friends and relatives who are trying to do Keto and so far they are failing at it. Meaning they aren’t doing it perfectly enough to not have moved from prediabetes to Diabetes. They are doing closer to the old Atkins and my sister-in-law has lost 15 pounds, but she also became Diabetic. My best friend hasn’t lost weight and she has Diabetes, which she controls with both insulin and other meds, plus she just got cancer.
            My brother also shifted from prediabetic to Diabetic.

            I do know that if they were doing Keto perfectly enough, they might not need things like insulin, and Dr. Seyfried was able to combine it with Hyperbaric oxygen and a glutamate inhibitor and calorie restriction and water fasting and intermittent fasting to have people get rid of cancer, but the people I am close to haven’t gotten rid of either Diabetes or Cancer.

            But I do see people online who have lost weight and gotten off of insulin and I have seen Dr. Seyfried successfully getting rid of cancer.

            I feel like people can make mistakes on both diets, but if someone on Keto “cheats” and drinks soda or beer or eats birthday cake, the effects are higher than if I do it on Whole Food Plant Based. (I do eat cake and drink soda at birthday parties a few times per year. So do all my Keto people. I worry more about them doing it than when I do it.)

              1. I will add that my brother and I failed at Atkins when we were younger and he got serious gall bladder issues back then and had to stop. His wife is having gall bladder pain right now.

                Yes, I have read that any time people lose weight too quickly or go too low or high fat it can cause gall bladder problems, particularly in people with Diabetes.


                I am not against you or your function here.

                We need to be able to have the studies from every direction and we need to be able to analyze the data as dispassionately as possible.

                Plus, most of us probably have relatives who are closer to Keto. Learning it from both directions is the only option for me.

              2. Deb, if you do the ‘Starch Solution’, please check your blood sugar levels. Dr. McDougall in his live-in programs does check. And he puts people who react with high blood sugar levels on insulin.

                1. “And he puts people who react with high blood sugar levels on insulin.”
                  – – – – –

                  Wow, he “puts them on insulin” rather than just suggest they don’t follow his “starch solution” diet? I’d rather just avoid his diet in the first place.

                2. Marilyn,

                  Thanks for the advice.

                  I am pretty sure I will be doing my labs closer to January.

                  My keto brother and sister-in-law both crossed over to Diabetes this past year. My SAD brother is not Diabetic. That fascinates me.

                  January will be 2 years of Vegan – aiming Whole Food Plant Based.

                  I am not checking until January. I do not want to go on insulin and honestly couldn’t afford it. I have more than one friend who has gone on and they end up taking months off, like right about now when property taxes are due. I have one friend who ended up Diabetic from steroids from hives and she has ended up homeless more than once from medical. I am going to continue to strive to figure it out with diet.

        2. Greg, the studies all show that Deb is correct. Obesity is usually the cause of low testosterone. It’s because estrogen is made by fat cells. One reason obese women have a higher risk of breast cancer, actually obese men do also.
 There are lots of studies like this one.
          Read Dr. Longo’s book Greg, ‘The Longevity Diet’. Probably available in a local library. His studies show that yes, high protein, high fat, low carb diets do cause weight loss, and keep it off. But they also result in high rates of cancer and cardiovascular disease. He has been doing this research for 30 years. He does recommend low mercury fish twice a week.

    1. Sorry Greg but if you are over 50 you probably ought to be taking B12 pills or earting b12 fortified food anyway eg

      ‘As a result, the IOM recommends that adults older than 50 years obtain most of their vitamin B12 from vitamin supplements or fortified foods [5]. However, some elderly patients with atrophic gastritis require doses much higher than the RDA to avoid subclinical deficiency [41].’

      Even among younger people in the US, B12 deficiency might be just as common.

      ‘Evidence from the Framingham Offspring Study suggests that the prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in young adults might be greater than previously assumed [15]. This study found that the percentage of participants in three age groups (26–49 years, 50–64 years, and 65 years and older) with deficient blood levels of vitamin B12 was similar. The study also found that individuals who took a supplement containing vitamin B12 or consumed fortified cereal more than four times per week were much less likely to have a vitamin B12 deficiency.’

      As Deb says. losing weight probably accounts for your increase in T.

      ‘Several epidemiological studies demonstrated an inverse relationship between obesity and circulating total T concentrations [5,6,7,8]. Low circulating T levels are also associated with obesity-related cardiometabolic diseases such as metabolic syndrome (MetS) [9], non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) [10], and insulin resistance (IR) [11,12,13].’

      As for the association between vegetarian/’vegan’/meat eating diets and T levels, the situation is pobably more complex than your quotes suggest. Diet quality makes a difference. So does BMI/obesity. High fat and low carb diets seem to be associated with lower T levels. So are very high (95%) carb diet …. although high carb diets seem to increase T. Refined carbs may be the problem though eg

      ‘ Human and animal studies also showed that a high fat diet (HFD) is inversely associated with total T levels [28,29,30]; however, conflicting data exist as to the types of fatty acids [28,30,31]. CHO intake may also affect the male sex hormone. A low-CHO diet (<5% of total energy content) decreased plasma total T levels while circulating levels of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and growth hormone increased [32]. An early study by Anderson et al. showed that a high-CHO diet increased circulating total T and SHBG levels, while a high-protein diet had reversed the effect [33]. However, Mikulski et al. showed that both low (35% protein, 64% fat, 1% CHO) and high (4% protein, 1% fat, 95% CHO) CHO meals decreased serum T levels in physically active subjects [34]. Although CHOs seem to be positively correlated with circulating total T and SHBG levels in men [28], increased intake of refined CHO is associated with low serum SHBG levels in both men [16] and women [35]. A recent study showed no significant relationship between dietary intake of CHO and total and free T levels in healthy women [36]. Overall, the effect of CHO intake on androgen may differ between genders.

    2. Greg

      I think it depends which study you choose and how testosterone is measured – total or circulating for example. However, I am fairly confidnt that I can predict which studies you will choose …

      ‘ Vegans had higher testosterone levels than vegetarians and meat-eaters, but this was offset by higher sex hormone binding globulin, and there were no differences between diet groups in free testosterone, androstanediol glucuronide or luteinizing hormone.’

      In any case, a WFPB diet does not necessarily have to be ‘vegan’ or exclude animal foods. According to Forks OverKnives a WFPB diet

      “is centered on whole, unrefined or minimally refined plant foods and excludes or minimizes meat, dairy products, eggs, and highly refined foods such as bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.’

      I kniw that some people (eg the Colin Campbell crowd) believ that a WFPB diet necessarily excludes all animal foods. However, anybody who understands plain English knows that that is not the meaning of the term. They are confusing Whole Food Plant diets with whole food plant-based diets. This confusion is blindingly obvious when we discuss food pyramids – there the base of the pyramid usually comprises plant foods – but there is more to a pyramid than just the base.

  6. I’ve never seen research supporting this but it makes sense that meat consumption leads to higher cortisol levels. Life in a feedlot is stressful. Having your throat slit so you can be someone’s lunch? Pretty stressful. Animals have stress hormones too. When you ingest meat, you are directly and Karmically ingesting fear, pain and death.

  7. this appears to be just another b.s. population study that, yet again, fails to specify amounts–either amounts of meat eaten, type of meat, fat content–what about e.g. low fat meat in small quantities–same effect?. If u want to make such claims, how about really putting it to the test and identify the substance in meat supposedly causing these results, the mechanism by which they work, and where and how in the body the supposed harm is caused. that T levels reduce after a high fat meal within “hours”–do T levels stay down permanently or, do they come right back up, and, are they really being read and tested accurately. the usual answer to everything: a plant based diet.

      1. But I acknowledge that it doesn’t answer all the questions you have as a meat eater.

        Unfortunately, the studies you are looking for probably haven’t been done yet.

    1. How about providing some contrary evidence then?

      Just saying that studies you don’t like are bs is just throwing mud if you have no evidence to back up your own beliefs.

      1. I agree Tom.

        Throwing studies out as BS because they don’t answer every single question is the wrong additude.

        It is okay to want to know more than the studies currently give, but the studies are where we start.

        Is it better to back up to not include the studies that we have?

        That would be burying our heads in the sand.

        Greg has one good point about sperm quality which vegans don’t have an advantage.

        That could become an excellent discussion if the culture weren’t so debate oriented.

        Men have to weigh Omega 3’s helping sperm and brain but they are being brought up now as contributing to Prostate Cancer so that conversation needs to be discussed at a deeper level.

        1. Thanks Deb but I think that going on about ‘vegans’ may obscure the real question – do WFPB diets affect sperm quality?

          Many so-called vegans eat junk food diets. I can quite believe that they adversely affect sperm quality. But Greger isn’t telling us to eat ‘vegan’ diets, he is telling us to eat WFPB diets. See this 2018 review

          “In this review, we present the most up-to-date evidence about diet and male fertility in humans. We focus on the dietary factors necessary for production of healthy functioning sperm with high fertility potential. Based on this review, men may be encouraged to use antioxidant supplements and to follow dietary patterns favoring the consumption of seafood, poultry, nuts, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables”.

          These artcles seem to suggest that a WFPB diet that includes some fish/poultry may be best. Red meat, dairy and transfats on the other hand appear to be the big dietary no-nos.

            1. About 39 minutes into Brenda’s talk is a creepy science journal moment!!!! Underhanded! Makes me wonder how many studies go through this type of experience.

            2. Tom,

              Yes, sperm motility might be one area that the vegan part of the Whole Food Plant-Based community needs to eat their nuts and seeds and take their Omega 3’s, but that doesn’t make the meat eaters superior.

  8. ” Testosterone concentrations in seven normal men were consistently higher after ten days on a high carbohydrate diet (468 ± 34 ng/dl, mean ± S.E.) than during a high protein diet (3.71 ± 23 ng/d1, p<0.05) and were accompanied by parallel changes in sex hormone binding globulin (32.5 ± 2.8 nmol/1 vs. 23.4 ± 1.6 nmol/1 respectively, p<0.01). By contrast, cortisol concentrations were consistently lower during the high carbohydrate diet than during the high protein diet (7.74 ± 0.71 μg/d1 vs. 10.6 ± 0.4 μg/d1 respectively, p<0.05), and there were parallel changes in corticosteroid binding globulin concentrations (635 ± 60 nmol/1 vs. 754 ± 31 nmol/1 respectively p<0.05). The diets were equal in total calories and fat."

  9. I couldn’t sleep. I was up waiting to hear whether my sister in law was having surgery tonight.

    Or if it is going to be both of my sisters-in-law will be having surgery tomorrow.

    I ended up watching The Doctors and they were talking about hospitals requiring patients to take out loans before surgery.

    It really is too expensive.

    I love my PEMF and I love WFPB and my infrared lamp and cold laser and things like Binaural Beats and anything else which keeps me away from doctors.

  10. I think I had a breakthrough in executive function this week.

    I have been doing deeper brain stimulation and I upped my Omega 3’s plus PS100

    The social anxiety healing after broccoli sprouts and lutein foods and blueberries with prefrontal cortex stimulation has lasted 2 months or more. Maybe 3.

    The past 2 days have been stronger executive functioning.

    I feel like I am getting the hang of healing parts of my brain as long as I can find studies.

    1. I found a PMF study about improving memory an elderly people by stimulating the parietal lobe. They wanted to stimulate the hippocampus but weren’t sure they could reach it. The device I have has deep coils and I’ve stacked them to try to reach it myself and I will let you know if that works too.

    2. Deb,
      You have made many references to your brain issues and if it isn’t too personal may I ask what led to your brain issues. Was it an injury that you suffered ?

      1. Lida,

        I had the SADdest diet possible.

        I was refined carbs all day long. Plus, cookies, and candy and ice cream. Plus, no vegetables or fruit and so much cheese – pizza, lasagna, grilled cheese on refined carb bread, macaroni and cheese, baked ziti. All my pastas were white. For breads, I was white baguette and lots of butter. I was doing iced coffees with 80% milk from DD and they use Whole Milk, and I was drinking a few of them. Every food I ate was comfort food.

        On top of that, I had fainting episodes and falls where I hit my head. I hit my head on the steps of the Supreme court. I hit my head on my bathtub and on my refrigerator and I hit my head on concrete at Yellowstone National Park and other places. Some of them were hard hits. Not sure how much that contributed.

        I can say that I do not have an A1C test to tell you that I had Diabetes, but I had horizontal nail ridges and they are gone. I had serious eye problems and those are gone. I had neuropathy and that is gone.

        I can’t tell you with 100% certainty that my cheese or baked goods or all my aluminum pans and aluminum foil put aluminum in my brain, but when I used Fiji water for 12 weeks, my hallucinations and night terrors went away.

        I can’t tell you with 100% certainty that I had high Homocysteine from having no folate and possibly being low in B12, but when I started supplementing B12 (after I realized that Methyl wasn’t actually working and I switched to a more viable B12) and started eating vegetables and fruits, I had a serious improvement in cognitive ability. I had been seriously out of my mind. Not kidding. Really, really, really not kidding. That part is still embarassing, but it happened and correcting things like Vitamin D deficiency and B12 deficiency and increasing Magnesium and foods with Potassium and taking Zinc and taking Omega 3’s, so many things started improving.

        I can’t tell you with certainty how much of it was having ZERO natural sun exposure probably for 10 years of doubling caretaking with working full-time or how much of it was going to sleep after 4 every morning from doing the caretaking night shift and still getting up for work, but I can say that now that I sleep a lot of nights using my ICES PEMF and now that I supplement D3 and things like Iodine and eat my Brazil nut every day for selenium, everything has changed.

        I cannot tell you how bad it was. There are things like my eye problems, which I can’t even describe because it wasn’t just losing vision. It was as if my eyes were doing something so freaky that there is no language for it.

        All of those things have reversed and they reversed pretty quickly. There are other things which also have reversed, but you asked about brain and the truth is that I don’t know if I had a stroke which caused balance problems, which caused falls, which caused TBI or how much of it was early onset Alzheimers. I had a relative who died of early onset Alzheimers and she started at the same age that I started having brain problems and she had things like Hallucinations. Plus, I failed the left nostril peanut butter test every time I took it. I can’t smell anything out of my left nostril and that is where Alzheimer’s starts.

        I am doing Brain plasticity, plus I am eating blueberries and foods with lutein and I am doing every Dr. Greger food hack I can find and so far, so much better.

        1. Deb,
          Your posts are a clear affirmation of your cognitive abilities!
          Thanks for sharing your history and congratulations for finding your way out of the morass of issues you described. Brava!!!

          1. Thank you, Lida!

            That is so sweet!


            Yes, it is probably better that I didn’t show up here until a few years later.

            I have to look Dr. Hyman up again and see what they finally decided that he had. The talk I listened to with him speaking about the day his brain shattered, the doctors couldn’t figure it out. I guess that it isn’t that easy to figure brain things out.

          2. The most encouraging thing about Whole Food Plant Based is that people tend to reverse diseases.

            I am waiting for the Alzheimer’s study by Dr. Ornish. He keeps teasing about it, but just saying things like, “I am not allowed to say anything but it is going to be good.” or something like that.

        2. The reason I wonder about a stroke is that I have a start date in my head. I can go back and have a certain time that I had a sense that my brain exploded. In fact, that is the words I told people. Everybody just ignored it and I would try to explain it to them, but they got uncomfortable and ran away. I don’t blame them. I would say things like, “My brain exploded, I feel like an insanity spirit landed on me” and they would back up a few steps and stopped answering my phone calls or returning my emails and some of these people had been soooo close to me for decades. My brain being off freaked them out.

          Dr. Hyman had a similar experience, so it may not have been a stroke.

          Not one of them said, “What happened to your brain? Are you okay? Did you have a stroke or something?”

          One night, I got lost for over an hour trying to get to my best friend’s house, but that was not the “real bad stuff.” I had pastors waving politely to get away from me without talking with me at all and they were pastors I had been in leadership prayer with 15 years before.

          Get away from the crazy person.

        3. Deb, in reading your posts, I thought of something… have you had thyroid blood tests done in recent times? TSH level? The insomnia, eye problems, brain fog, heat intolerance, just made me think of hypothyroid issues my grandmum suffered. Just a thought.

    1. I used the autism/broccoli sprouts study video from Dr. Greger.

      Plus, I was looking at Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s broccoli sprouts video and felt like it was worth a shot.

      I am not diagnosed in the spectrum, but I know people who are and they tend to have social anxiety and self-consciousness.

      I saw all of those mechanisms and decided to try it.

      I used the broccoli sprouts, plus my Micropulse ICES (which I reasoned may allow more of the antioxidants into the brain – based on pulsed magnet studies) and which has a TMS setting and that technology has been used for depression and anxiety for psychiatry patients – by prescription only. The version on the ICES is safer and doesn’t have as much “power” but Bob Dennis told me that he has reason to believe it might be more effective and won’t give seizures. From his keeping track of everybody who uses his device. I also used Binaural Beats video Alpha meditation and the ICES on Alpha for vagal nerve stimulation, which is also used for so many things.

      I started the intentional process the week before I was supposed to go to a Bridal Shower and I have gone to the shower and the wedding and birthdays and picnics and all sorts of gatherings, plus, I have had multiple long stranger interactions and there hasn’t been even a hint of social anxiety so far.

      I might cut back on broccoli sprouts soon to see if it lasts, but it has been so effective that I am so psyched.

  11. Back to the vegan high carb versus meat low carb.

    Two people did a swap for 30 days.

    I know that most of the people here are small quantities of meat, and I am not posting this to come against the process anyone is doing. I am posting it because I thought it was fabulous.

    It is helping to have confidence that I may have really good lab numbers in January, but I am still waiting until then.

    1. Thanks, Barb!

      I always appreciate new recipes!

      I like Oh She Glows.

      I laugh because I haven’t cooked since my brother’s surgery and that must have been months ago now because he couldn’t lift more than 5 pounds for a month and then my younger brother had surgery and couldn’t lift more than 5 pounds for a month. I don’t think I have cooked since the beginning of March.

      I would never think I would even want to become a raw vegan, but a lazy vegan might eat raw so often that I am getting to experiment with raw.

      1. And a person who struggles to sleep for a long time also got to experiment with Intermittent Fasting.

        It feels like it is lying if it wasn’t intentional.

      2. “I don’t think I have cooked since the beginning of March.”
        – – – – – –

        Deb, some people were amazed that I continued to cook for myself after my hubby died. But why? Cooking is fun! I’ve cooked or baked since I was in my early teens. I used to bake some really decadent desserts, lemme tell ya!

        The concentrating on chopping this or that, when to turn on the stove so that all the foods synchronizes (I don’t own a microwave oven) …..well, that sort of thing is good for the brain! And there are never any junk foods at my place. (Nope, dark chocolate is NOT a junk food!)

  12. I watched this youtube video of Mic the vegan this morning, and Lida’s questions came to mind. It’s about the phyical changes that can take place in making the switch from omnivore diet to vegan.

    He has organized it along a time line with supporting studies (links provided in vid description too) which is why I thought it might interest some of you.

    I am impressed with Mic as a presenter. He makes a difficult job look easy, and he has a good sense of humor.

  13. The news came out with a study a few days ago, about not eating meat caused a certain stroke, where the blood bleeds into the brain from not having enough fat in the diet. I am taking ha with a grain of salt. I didn’t no where to post this one.

  14. This article has a confusing and contradictory claim. First, it states that meat and fat decrease T and increase cortisol. Then, it supports that claim by showing fat is not responsible:
    “If you feed people lots of eggs and meat…then switch them to a diet with bread, fruit, vegetables, and sugar—but about the same amount of fat—all their testosterone levels go up”

    So which is it; what element is really causing these effects? Meat is not synonymous with “fat,” so what is being overlooked is the other elements of the meat’s composition, including type, quality, and source. You cannot compare hot dogs or fast food burgers to the product of a humanely, pasture raised, vegetarian fed animal. Industrial meat is likely the culprit of stress hormones and other negative health effects.
    Not all macro-nutrients are created equal, and that goes for protein and carbs as well.

  15. I think that the stress levels in the children of meat-eating parents has less to do with how they ate during pregnancy, and more to do with the way the parents are currently feeding the children. No doubt the mother’s diet absolutely directly affects the growth of the fetus and the newborn’s health, but many diseases are treatable and even reversible/curable by switching to a plant-based diet.

    Let food be the medicine and medicine be thy food.

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